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UBITEC collaborates   with University of Houston

An interview with Muneeb Hassan, Chief Operating Officer of UBITEC

By Syed M. Aslam
Aug  20 - 26 , 2001

UBITEC is a joint venture of financial institutions, educationists and entrepreneurs including Islamic Investment Bank, Key Ventures UK, the Group Director of Al-Futtaim Group UAE Mr Z.U. Sabri and Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, an eminent educationist who has helped developed such prestigious institutions as Lahore University of Management Sciences and Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad.

In a short period of less than a year, UBITEC Institute of Business & Information Technology has established itself as a quality institution not only in education but also software development and consultancy. What sets UBITEC apart from other institutions is that it mixes IT and Business education to groom students to excel in both these disciplines, a rare combination anywhere.

Equipped with state-of-the-art computer labs, cabling to accommodate 200 PCs, latest branded equipment and licensed software housed in a four-storey building on main Sharah-e-Faisal, UBITEC now offers Bachelors degree in Computer Sciences (BS) and Business Administration (BBA) in collaboration with University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL), a State University of USA. Both are 4-year programs spread over two semesters a year. This is in addition to certificate and diploma programs already offered by UBITEC since it started operations in October last year. UBITEC offers a complete range of beginner to advanced level courses in Information Technology and Management skills. Diploma and certificate courses are offered in Java, e-commerce, web development and office automation.

The first

PAGE talked to the Chief Operating Officer of UBITEC, Muneeb Hassan, about its collaboration with UHCL. This is the first time in Pakistan that a Bachelors degree is being offered in collaboration with a State University of USA. He said that UBITEC's philosophy has always been to develop students into well rounded professionals with strong technical and business skills, a requirement much missed by the industry here.

"What sets us apart from the rest is the fact that ours is a collaboration rather than a franchise. The philosophy and vision of UBITEC matches entirely with that of UHCL."

About UHCL

UHCL is a State University and a part of the University of Houston System that caters to over 50,000 students. Its sprawling campus is spread over 524 acres adjacent to NASA's Johnson Space Centre. It has active presence in 12 countries including Mexico, Sri Lanka, Sharjah, Taiwan, Thailand, Brazil, Japan, China, India, The Netherlands, Slovakia and now, Pakistan.

UHCL is the second university in the world to offer a Masters in Computer Science. It also hold AASED, the highest accreditation for business schools in the US.

Muneeb told PAGE that UHCL will help UBITEC in developing into a self-standing university by 2003. "UHCL will transfer knowledge, syllabi and text books for our students to help us maintain the highest standards of education in Pakistan." UBITEC has already applied for NOC from the University Grants Commission. "Thereafter we will apply for the award of charter for a degree granting institute."

We have decided to select students who meet our minimum admission criteria, i.e., a minimum of 60 per cent marks in Intermediate or A levels, a Toefl score of 550 and clearance of the aptitude test. This is to ensure that the students are capable of undergoing the rigorous education.

We offer many choices to our students. The first four semesters or first two years of both the BS and BBA degree programs comprise of almost similar syllabus to help strengthen the foundation of our students. The last two years of the programs, on the other hand, differ entirely and becomes highly technical to focus on Business or Computer Science. Students would be able to choose their area of specialisation even in the third year of the programs.

Students may transfer to UHCL, with full credits, after successful completion of at least 2 years at UBITEC. This means that the students would have to only study for two more years at UHCL. In addition, they would also have the facility to transfer to other partners of UHCL including the ones in Sri Lanka, Sharjah and Mexico.

Under one roof

UBITEC is more than a Business and IT institute. It offers and combines such services as teaching, education, IT training, management development programs, research, software development and consultancy all under one roof. It can help assist to develop small or large area networks, wide area networks and enterprise-wide communication capabilities. Some of the services offered by UBITEC include LAN and WAN implementation, evaluation and planning, network design, communication protocols, network management systems and client support services. Students would be encouraged to get internship or job in all these areas, Muneeb added.